Robert Mish: Front-Line Observations from a Seasoned Gold & Silver Bullion Dealer

Spikes and plunges in the U.S. dollar price of gold; this is not new. It goes back to the early 1970s. We remember that for most of the past 40 years, physical gold and silver investors, particularly in the U.S., tended to chase big rallies and buy late, while too often selling after plunges or after long periods of price erosion. Gold was sold then primarily as an inflation hedge. When it was working, speculators bought much more. When it stopped working as an inflation hedge, they first became puzzled and frustrated, then fearful, and they sold out at bottoms.

So, fast-forward to this month, and today’s gold community starts to look a bit different as the breakdown below previous gold and silver price support levels began, and especially last week, with gold going below $1400. Physical buyers were outnumbering sellers in our store by at least 5 to 1. And some of the unfortunate sellers had not changed their thinking about gold long-term; they just needed fast liquidity, which is another benefit of gold.

80 – 90% of the people who have bought gold from us in the last two weeks on the drop were already gold owners, already gold savers.

Their attitude is, gold is on sale 

Robert Mish kindly took a break from operations at his bullion dealership to return for another conversation with Chris about what he's been observing on the front lines this week, transacting with both retail and wholesale customers.


Gold is a little bit backlogged. The premiums are slightly elevated. Products commonly traded, such as gold maple leafs, American eagles, and refiner one-ounce bars are 2-3 weeks out. And for some of my colleagues further away in the supply chain, 4-6 weeks out. The premiums are up to maybe $5 to $15 dollars an ounce over normal.


Silver is another story. The demand for silver has completely overwhelmed existing inventories and the ability of the mints and their refiners to produce more product.  The other big mystery is: how much more silver is there to make product out of? Will the buyers be able to keep the pressure on until the price of [physical] silver and paper silver have to move up just to return the market’s equilibrium? Right now, 100-ounce silver bars, which a few months ago were trading dealer-to-dealer around melt or a little over, are now 75 cents to a $1 an ounce not retail, our cost and 4 to 8 weeks out.  1-ounce and 10-ounce refiner product used to be 30, 40, 50 cents. Now it’s  $1.10-$1.25, our cost, 2-4 weeks out. Silver maple leafs, our cost from the prime American distributor of the Canadian Royal Mint today: $3.75. It was $1.70 a month ago. 3-4 weeks out. Silver eagles, normally a little over $2, they are $5 if you want them live; $4 if you want them in 4-6 weeks. 

These premiums are the physical market saying, we are willing to pay this for real silver right now. Whether the suppliers can meet this demand and bring the premium down, we’ll see weeks from now. It is much different this time than it was in the past, in that the drop in price is bringing in buyers rather than sellers. It used to be that a rally would bring in the buyers. So we have had an important change.

The Big Picture

The powers-that-be guided a lot of that potential demand into paper gold and exchanged traded products of various forms. Then they slaughter those products, and I’m sure in their mind hopefully discouraged those people for a long time. But in time, changing cultures and the prosperity of people internationally in cultures which understand gold, I think is going to take its toll on the shorting game. And the shorting game will end badly. And that doesn’t mean that those who have the other side of the equation necessarily will profit, because they will find a corrupt way to burn them.

What we have now is a game of chicken between the physical buyers and the paper shorters. It is like, who will quit first? We have a shortage of physical product. But we are told by the mint distributors and the refiners Oh, don’t worry. In two, three, four, five weeks your orders will arrive. If the buying continues at the pace it’s going, or begins to expand to a greater percent of the population in this country and worldwide, eventually, by asking for delivery, the physical buyers will change the game. It is a poker game of both real cards and bluffing. Are the shorts bluffing? Yeah. But they get away with it over and over again. This time when the longs fold as they have in the past, the shorts, they sandbag the river. But the flood of fiat currency keeps rising. If buyers would stick to their guns and develop habits and understand why they buy gold and silver, the shorts will run out of sand.

Robert also shares details on the buying activity of his Asian clients. There is much for the West to emulate, particularly if it does not want to wake up one day realizing it has dis-hoarded the bulk of its bullion overseas.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Robert Mish (41m:34s):

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

If the G8 are all printing and going deeper into debt, wouldn't it make sense the USD still remains the reserve currency since it's all relative? Especially IF they hold the most gold (clearly this is a big "if" as shown, but it's speculation one way or another so I think saying they have the gold is equal to saying they don't have it). 
Lots of talk about the West to East movement, but again, China is doing the same the US did. Credit is soaring and they are creating bubbles of their own. Are they really capable of having a reserve currency?  It seems they are still many years away. 

Although I've been saving in PMs and decreasing cash, I would still like a better understanding of these two arguments that reoccur so often.  

Robert Mish: Chris when you've done pod casts in the past, has gold always rallied while you've been on the phone?

Chris Martenson: No, I haven't noticed that, because I can't keep multiple screens open when I have my recording device running.

Robert Mish: Ever since you've been talking, gold has rallied $7.

Chris Martenson: Well, okay. Let's keep going, then. I got all night.

LOL Chris, too funny!



Lets say that some executives at the big banks are amoral. (Just floating the idea. A stretch, I know.)
Could they enthusiasticaly be driving the price of gold down so that they personally, not the organization they represent, benefit?

Perhaps we judge their motives too highly.

Sort of "I'm OK Jack. My parachute is open."

Not very patriotic at all. But if this is what is happening it might change our prognosis.

If that were the case we might anticipate executive sized purchases now. How many private purchases have been made in $1 million tranches? 

I agree with you.  I always suspected this because its all about  (personal) profit, although we will never know this unde the present system of secrecy in money transactions. One possible attribute of a new, competing currency after the reset would be public access to all transactions.  Although many prefer secrecy, much if not all ethics problems would disappear if a currency system provided transparency to all transactions.  In fact, we could probably even throw out ethics rules and regulations as unncessary if we had a transparent currency system that allows everyone to see the transactions…  This can be done.  (any good science fiction stories on this topic?)

A interesting video about silver and gold shortage.

Why do i get the feeling that gold and silver is a trap. They have most of the gold already, theres no reason to depress the prices, other than to get you to buy it. That seems to be working.
Why would the banks sell their gold at all, since it wouldnt make sense that if a currency collapse was iminent, they would know about it (and be the cause of it). They wouldnt sell you anything if they didnt believe they would profit from it. Profit is their religion, but control is their god.

You have to worry a little when they want you to have it. The trapdoor will open at some point.



I would think that the banks do not want us to have it.  Let's say one makes a $100,000 purchase (cash) and takes physical delivery of the gold and stores it under a mattress.  Such a transaction channels your funds from your bank account to beneath the mattress.  That's now $100,000 (times a multiple of say 30 because of the fractional reserve construct of the banking system) less they can loan out to someone else.  Am I seeing this correctly?

I don't think your representation of the way money works is quite right… though I thoroughly agree with your point that the bankers, and TPTB, don't want you and I to be buying Gold.  By buying Gold, the money you spend is not being destroyed… just moving around.  The dealer takes your money and puts in their bank account… pays of their dealer… pays off the refiner… pays off the miners… etc. There are two things at work here;
1)  Bankers hate deflation.  As Chris teaches in the crash course, our monetary system is only healthy when it is expanding… when more and more folks and entities are taking out bigger and bigger loans (money is debt).  Your description of money being destroyed is really deflation… as loans are paid off and new ones don't replace them, the amount of money in the system contracts… this would be deflation… and this is what you are describing (though again, your example transaction is not paying off a loan, just moving money around)… we have not had more than a few tiny bursts of it in the last 60 years.  See here;
2)  Bankers know that Gold is an alternative currency, and they don't want you losing faith in their faith-based fiat money, and gaining faith in Gold, because they cannot print Gold.  Ponzi schemes collapse when faith collapses.  They want Gold scary… they want you to see that Gold can lose 10% of it's value in the blink of an eye… and they certainly don't want you wondering why central banks around the world have been net buyers of Gold for the last 4-5 years.  They want you to take the easy way out, and just stay in dollars.  Don't worry about them not having enough reserves to loan out more dollars (if the demand is there)… nothing you can or will do will impede their ability to make more loans… no, that's not their motivation for fearing Gold at all.            

so your essentially saying that they intentionally tanked the price of gold with the non physical investments to scare people away, but that dropped the price and instead made gold more attractive than ever.The problem is that i dont believe that the bankers are that dumb but i do believe they are that evil… They want you buying it. Theres a trick, a catch, another trapdoor. Theres something missing here and i believe the question is "what are THEY buying up?" Farmland? Water? Something we dont know about…

Hi FreeNL,I personally think the 'bankers' [whoever they are] are fully aware of the coming crisis. We are talking about people here worth multiples of millions here, who are already well diversified into all the things you mention. A good stash of PM's, plenty of land and property in different countries and jurisdictions. Here in the UK the London property market is raising and awash with money from all over the world buying houses in the £Millions. Russians, Bulgarians, you name it, they are here. They will also be doing the same elsewhere. Just like most people on this site - they understand the end game is just a matter of time. It's how best to prepare.
I think 'their' biggest concern isn't war, poverty, countries going banktrupt and children starving. It would be the break down in law and order that would see then lose their title deeds, safety and 'wealth'. Hence they diversify. We are perhaps talking about a thousand or a few hundred people who really direct the World and its economies.
It is a real threat to the purse strings and wealth of the 'rulers' and international elites. I don't think gold personally is a threat to them - they will have a good stash well places all over the world. Rather, it threatens their ability to control people, markets, and economies. that is what is at stake - just in IMHO.

I do believe that the bullion bankers trashed the market, thinking that it would have the effect of stifling demand.  The effect has been quite the opposite. 
I don't believe that there are trapdoors that are not already in the dialogue… could governments try to confiscate Gold… could they try to tax the hell out of Gold profits…could they put capital controls in place in an attempt to restrict its movement…  who knows for sure.  I don't.  Am I advocating putting all your money into Gold and not minding all the other aspects of resiliency… heck no. 

In an increasingly systemic crisis, gold can not be a means of hedging or "safe harbor" ( ). The recent collapse in the price of gold this fact confirms

but that "collapse" is by it not to much to think that the buying frenzy is also by design…
or am i giving them too much credit? They have managed to subvert the entire world…

This is an excellent, but long, discussion of money and politics and how to get back to a honest money regime. ================
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Larry Parks: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Money Metals
Dr. Lawrence Parks
The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Dr. Lawrence Parks.
Introduction: Lawrence Parks holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education (FAME). Dr. Parks was a student of free-market economist Murray Rothbard and has studied monetary issues for more than 30 years. He is the author of What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?, a popular book on the workings of the US monetary system. He has authored and produced more than 200 videos on topics dealing with the US monetary system, more than 50 of which are posted to His writings have appeared in Pensions & Investments, The Economist, Washington Times, The Freeman, American Outlook and National Review.

Money is the great abstraction and distraction.
It is abstract in that it does not exist in whatever passes for "Reality" in your neck of the woods. (See the Measurement Problem, Quantum physics)

It is a distraction from the task of getting on with the task of Living.

Relax, get enough beauty sleep, sit back and watch the show. The Reality show. It is a laugh a miniut.

Popcorn anyone?

Any future evolution is based on the state the system was discovered to be in when the measurement was made, meaning that the measurement "did something" to the process under examination. Whatever that "something" may be does not appear to be explained by the basic theory.
Only faith can solve the paradox. It is what lies beyond. Keep the faith and you won't need the abstraction or the distraction.  

My concern is that individuals smart enought to invest in PM's will get hosed in the end.  Smart enough to profit, but corruption will burn us in the end.


[quote=Arthur Robey]Relax, get enough beauty sleep…
For old guys like me, their ain't enough time to get the beauty sleep we need…